MALAGA PROVINCE does not have enough adapted taxis to meet legal requirements.
By law, at least 5 per cent of taxis should be accessible for people with disabilities, but it seems the majorty of the province’s large coastal areas still do not have enough.
The regulation, which came into at in December 2007, gave municipalities 10 years to enact the change. The deadline is now up and it seems only Malaga City, Estepona and Marbella have reached targets, with all other large municipalities falling short of the required number, including Velez Malaga, Mijas, Torremolinos, Fuengirola and Benalmadena.
In the last two years, in a bid to increase numbers, Malaga Council began granting licences for vehicles holding between seven and nine people, providing they were adapted for those with mobility problems.
The increase in larger capacity cabs caused controversy, however. In September, following a city-wide taxi strike the month before, Malaga Council was forced to agree a compromise with cabbies over multi-passenger taxis.
The council agreed not to give licences to taxis with more than seven seats after it was claimed an increasing number of cabs were taking larger groups. A study will now be commissioned into the impact of larger vehicles on Malaga’s 1,432 licenced taxi drivers and their users.
Currently 83 cars have a licence to offer taxi services to between seven and nine people, a figure which will now remain the same during a two-year moratorium on offering further licences for larger vehicles.
Last month, taxi drivers staged another strike over the proliferation of private hire vehicles. The strike, which took place between 6am on Wednesday and 6pm yesterday, also saw cabbies take to Madrid’s streets in protest over private hire firms. Unions agreed a minimum of 25 per cent of drivers would continue to work, although Malaga’s taxis decided to raise the amount to 50 per cent.
Jose Royon, president of the Costa del Sol Confederation of Taxis and the Malaga Unified Autonomous Association of Taxis, explained, “we cannot leave the city abandoned so we have decided that half the fleet will be operations, which we think is enough to cover demand without any problems.”
In August, a five-day strike,also over private hire vehicles, caused travel chaos in the city at one of the busiest times of the year. Taxi drivers refused to work at Malaga Airport, instead sitting in their vehicles to protest the success of private taxi firm Cabify.